When the Bruins claimed Corey Potter off waivers and traded for Andrej Meszaros at the NHL trade deadline, no one really knew what to expect from either of the Bruins newest defensemen.
Meszaros played in 14 regular season games for the Bruins while Potter played in just three. Despite the short tenure as Bruins, both Meszaros and Potter were called upon in Game 1 with Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller out of the lineup due to the “flu bug.”
Not only did the pair of defensemen see big minutes five-on-five, the two veterans saw key minutes on the penalty kill, keeping Detroit off the board on both power play opportunities.
“Yeah it was blast being out there with Z, [Zdeno Chara] blocking some shots and getting my feet moving. So yeah, it went pretty well,” said Potter who saw 1:37 of shorthanded time on ice in the Bruins’ series opening 1-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
For Meszaros, whether it’s five-on-five, penalty kill or even the power play, he just wants to play.
“Yeah, yeah, I just want to play in every situation if it’s possible,” said Meszaros who was just short of 20 minutes of ice time.
“Where ever they tell me to play I will, left, right, PK, [penalty kill] PP [power play] it doesn’t matter to me.” added Meszaros.
Meszaros trailed just Chara and Johnny Boychuk in ice time among Bruins defensemen.
Although the Bruins didn’t get the outcome they wanted, head coach Claude Julien couldn’t have asked for much more from the two. With that being said, Julien didn’t feel like getting into how he thought the two defensemen played Friday night.
“I’m not going to start analyzing my team right now; I’m going to talk about the game. As far as analyzing the players, we will do that here in the dressing room,” he said. “So the only thing I would tell you about those guys is they did a great job for the position they were put in.”
For Potter, Friday marked his first career playoff game and it was everything the 30-year old thought it would be.
“Yeah, it was super exciting,” Potter added. “I was thinking about it all day, couldn’t sleep. It was exactly what I expected, high intensity and it was really close out there. Unfortunately we couldn’t get that win.”
With the flu going around the team, and guys missing practice the last few days, Potter could see being inserted into the lineup coming.
“I kind of had a feeling coming in, there was a flu bug going around and some guys were sick yesterday and I’ve been kind of preparing for the last couple of days,” Potter said.
With Game 2 set for Easter Sunday, Julien has no idea if Miller and Bartkowski will be healthy enough to play as the Bruins look to avoid falling behind 2-0 in the series.
“I wish I could tell you, honestly. With this thing going around we don’t know, we really don’t know,” said Julien. “We hope to- Matt Bartkowski was here today, so he’s on the mend, to what extent for Sunday, hopefully good enough. We will have to find out as days go on.”
Despite just four games in the Bruins system, Potter is getting comfortable with the Bruins style of play. Potter just hopes he gets another shot.
“Yeah, I think so. I think in every game I am getting more comfortable and feeling better out there,” Potter stated. “So hopefully I get another chance and keep on improving.”
With how well both Potter and Meszaros played in Game 1, there’s a very good chance you may see one, or even both defensemen in Game 2, even if Miller and Bartkowski are healthy.
Hear what the Potter, Meszaros and more had to say following the Red Wings 1-0 victory.